Residents of Colorado Springs need not reach in their pocket this year for change when they hear the familiar ringing of the Salvation Army volunteer calling attention to its donation bucket. In a test program, some Santas wil be equipped to take plastic.

For the test, done in cooperation with U.S. Bank, the volunteers (augmented, when necessary, with paid temps) will be equipped with wireless card readers, so donors can swipe to support the Army's homeless shelter and meal programs.

The program stands to bring in more money for two reasons; the declining value of change, and people's propensity to give more using credit cards than when forking over cash. It may also reassure donors skeptical that 100% of the donated funds will reach the Salvation Army, and will provide documentation for those who wish to claim a deduction on their taxes.

Still, the sound of a card swipe isn't as satisfying as coins plinking into the traditional red bucket. But if the difference brings shelter and food to those in need and Christmas gifts for their children, I can live with the change.

Charity is the Star

    Scores of foreign workers break their fast in a Saudi mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on September 4, 2008. Saudi Arabia, cradle of Islam, and other oil-rich Arab monarchies in the Gulf ushered in Ramadan, the Muslim holy month marked by an upsurge of charity and a slowdown in activity. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. AFP PHOTO/OMAR SALEM (Photo credit should read Omar Salem/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    A painting by German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter entitled 'La Siesta' is seen at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Friday Nov. 14, 2008. The painting once owned by Britain's Queen Victoria is estimated at ã60,000-ã80,000 ($89,00-$118,000) and is part of a collection of art which will be sold on Nov. 19, with the proceeds of the sale going to charity. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    AP

    The stamps on the reverse of a painting by German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter entitled 'La Siesta' proving it's Royal provenance is seen at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Friday Nov. 14, 2008. The painting once owned by Britain's Queen Victoria is estimated at ã60,000-ã80,000 ($89,00-$118,000) and is part of a collection of art which will be sold on Nov. 19, with the proceeds of the sale going to charity. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    AP

    A painting by artist John Anster Fitzgerald entitled ' The Stuff that Dreams are Made of ', right, is seen at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008. The painting estimated at ã300,000-ã500,000 ($440,900-$ 734,820) is part of a collection of British art which will be sold on Nov. 19, with the proceeds of the sale going to charity. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    AP

    A painting by artist Sophie Anderson entitled 'No Walk Today', is seen at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008. The painting estimated at ã600,000-ã800,000 ($890,130-$1,186,840) is part of a collection of British art which will be sold on Nov. 19, with the proceeds of the sale going to charity. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    AP

    A 'bearded-lady' is seen at the Carnival Spectacular, a 1930's-themed charity party for Dramatic Need, an African-based arts charity, in London Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

    AP

    Clown Dj's perform at the Carnival Spectacular, a 1930's-themed charity party for Dramatic Need, an African-based arts charity, in London Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

    AP

    Josh Hartnett, left, and Helena Christensen arrive for the Carnival Spectacular, a 1930's-themed charity party for Dramatic Need, an African-based arts charity, in London Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

    AP

    Josh Hartnett arrives for the Carnival Spectacular, a 1930's-themed charity party for Dramatic Need, an African-based arts charity, in London Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

    AP

    Helena Christensen arrives for the Carnival Spectacular, a 1930's-themed charity party for Dramatic Need, an African-based arts charity, in London Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

    AP


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum